South Africa and Thailand

In March 1992 South Africa and Thailand agreed on consular relations. This is surprisingly late for countries that are on opposite sides of the Indian Ocean. Since consular relations were established between the two countries there has been a warm relationship. There have been several diplomatic delegations between the South Africa and Thailand. The South African ambassador has even met his HM King Rama IX.

In June 2009 there was a Thai Exhibition at Sandton Convention when hundreds of Thai and South African people from the business communities had a chance to meet face-to-face and discuss ways to promote trade between the two countries. Areas such as food, building and construction materials, plastics and rubber, food and beverages, textiles, clothing, gems,  furniture and décor, kitchenware and ceramics were seen as viable areas for trade for mutual benefit between South Africa and Thailand.

In 2011 plans were underway to build a Thai Trade Distribution Center (TTDC) in Johannesburg to facilitate the growing interest for Thai products in South Africa.

South Africa is commonly viewed as ‘the Gateway to Africa’ by Thailand. It is a country with good ports and a good route to progress farther inland throughout the Southern African area.

There is also potential for both countries to benefit from tourism. There are several carriers operating between Cape Town and Bangkok including Cathay Pacific, Emirates, South African Airways, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airways. Popular beaches such as Thong Nai Pan in Koh Phangan and safari tours in Kruger National Park could see future numbers boosted by the association between the countries.

The only concern is that Thai goods seem to be arriving in South Africa in greater amounts than South African goods are getting on the shelves in Thailand. Naturally, South African diamonds are doing well in Thailand but not so with crafts, ceramics, ITC and other areas. In 2008, Thailand and South Africa had a trade value of $2,297.52 million.  Thai exports totaled $1,587.98 million and imports $709.53 million. Thus, Thailand had a balance of trade surplus equivalent to $878.45 million. This needs to be addressed.

Joyce Banda

Joyce Banda recently became the first female Prime Minister of a Southern African country. All eyes in the region are on Malawi to see what Joyce Banda will be able to achieve as the first woman to assume the top job in the country.

Joyce Banda is a confirmed female activist. She is also committed to civil rights and her political ideas show a massive change in political leadership after the former autocratic president, the late Mutharika. She rose to power after being heavily involved in setting up and running several organizations to help the people of Malawi. These include the Joyce Banda Foundation for Better Education, the Young Women Leaders Network, the National Association of Business Women and the Hunger Project.

Joyce Banda has also been an outspoken advocate for women’s leadership and for the empowerment of women in a country that has been dominated by patriarchal relations and that has commonly turned a blind eye to violence against women. She was voted ‘Woman of the Year’ in Malawi for 1997 and 1998.

In the ruling Democratic People’s Party (DPP) she has held the posts of Minister of Gender, Child Welfare and Community Services and Minister of Foreign Affairs between 2004 and 2009. She then became the vice president of Malawi. As it became clear that she had intentions to run for the top job in the country there was a struggle in the party between the progressives and those who felt that Malawi wasn’t ready for a female President.

The result of this power struggle was that Mutharika nominated his brother as his successor and kicked Banda out of the party in 2010.

This was unconstitutional since Joyce Banda was an elected representative. Nevertheless, she opted to leave the DPP and start her own party called the People’s Party.

Although Mutharika was buoyed by early success in improving agricultural output things got progressively worse for the DPP. The economy took a sudden downturn. Mutharika giddy with power started trampling on people’s civil liberties and countries such as Britain refused to give the country economic aid.

When Mutharika died the country faced high unemployment, disastrously poor crops and massive debts. Forced to do something when President Mutharika died suddenly, the parliament made Joyce Banda the president on April 7, 2012.

Joyce Banda now faces an upward struggle to gain the support of the majority DPP parliament and to implement changes that will improve Malawi’s finances, improve crop yields and restore international confidence in the country. She also has to implement what will surely be unpopular austerity measures to improve Malawi’s credit rating.

If she can succeed in doing all these things and bring Malawi back onto the track of growing prosperity while at the same time increasing rights for women she will have scored a massive victory for all African women.

More Computers And Internet Connections Needed In Africa

It is 2012 and in the history of the world, there has never been a better time for someone who wants to take their destiny into their own hands. That includes the continent of Africa.

With the explosion of technology, especially the Internet, it is easier than ever for people to communicate with others and to do things that never before were possible. Have you noticed that more and more African bloggers are coming online and trying to learn how to make money from home? Take a look at this one who has created quite a stir in the blogging world with his many quality guest posts. And if you take a look at this blog you will see that it is really possible to make a lot online.

There are lots of ways to make money online and Africans need more opportunities as they live in one of the poorest parts of the world. The Internet can be nothing but good for them as it provides a way to enter into communication and even do business with other parts of the globe.

For instance, it used to be that writing a book and getting it published was something out of reach for most people. Only the best writers and the ones with contacts could write a manuscript and convince a publishing company to print it.

But now things have changed and anybody from any economic background and any walk of life can get their own book published and sold online. Indie books on Amazon number in the tens of thousands and will soon be in the millions and higher as regular people take advantage of this new opportunity have their words read and bought. It is a wonderful money making opportunity with almost zero financial risk for the budding writer.

On the Internet, anyone with a good idea can make money no matter where you live. If you have a talent or a skill, chances are that you can benefit in some way by developing a business or a presence online. And now that Internet access has become so cheap, it is available to more and more people. Artists can show their works and make sales online, musicians can upload their works and get exposure which can lead to opportunities, and anyone who wants to sell anything at all can open their “store” in the form of a website for a very small investment.

It is great to be living during this time when almost anyone can make a success of themselves with hard work and a little talent. For Africans though, they need to see the rapid ramping up of their technology infrastructure so that more of them can get online. Hopefully this is just the beginning and more and more people will be able to find a voice online and an outlet for their God given talents.

Promising Economy News

AICC Africa, an organization devoted to the development and forward movement of the African economy and business culture, recently reported on some key developments in Africa’s economic scene.This growth looks encouraging, particularly in the Angola and Equatorial Guinea regions. Further, despite ongoing concern for the Ethiopian economy, they have been showing strong figures based on this latest report.

…The African Economic Growth report for 2010 revealed impressive growth in Angola (12.9%), Equatorial Guinea (12.9%), Chad (8.5%), Nigeria (9.1), Sierra Leone (8.7%) and Ethiopia (8.6%), and a national average of 4% overall.These positive changes open up new possibilities for Africans in terms of overseas trade and employment prospects… opportunities for businesspeople and qualified individuals can still be found in several key growth areas, particularly in the natural resources (gas and oil), agriculture, healthcare and telecommunications  sectors.- AICC Africa (

The opportunities brought out in this report should give both African and international businesspeople a keen sense of the strong growth yet to be made in this country. Natural resources in particular generally mean great wealth for other nations- it is ludicrous that this resource should go untapped due to mismanagement and economic apathy. We urge that further development and investment be made an immediate priority.

Telecommunication – The Growing Technology In Africa

Technology is the utilization of information technology tools to perform tasks. It can be anything from telecommunication to business intelligence software. Tools such the smartphones, computers and even the televisions are all results of technology and years of study. Technology has been around for a long time now. The recent technological advancements though have impacted very much in every arena of life. Technology had become intriguing since it comes out in the world market. The advancement of technology becomes very useful and great as it doesn’t only shows an advancement of the economy but also it will give a name on your country if you acquired it. Many countries these days are acquiring and embracing technologies and inject it for their businesses and even at homes. The use of gadgets for entertainment even works turn it to be simple and at ease. Many large companies in africa are starting to see the value of technology software too instead of just focusing on the hardware. Things like decision support systems and business intelligence software are getting more and more popular for the many high tech companies. The growth of telecommunications being recorded in the industry of Africa and Egypt. Within the short period mobile communication started ins tremendous. Many people acquire and buy mobile with each purpose. It will be used for personal purposes like communication for their friends or for business purpose. Egyptian telecommunication becomes the largest and the fastest growing technology in Africa and can compete globally when it comes to growth rate. Especially the use of business intelligence software has improved the effect of telecommunication quite a bit. FM Tech recently made a study on the use of business intelligence software with tele software and how it could be used to boost the signals and lower costs with almost 200%. You can read more about the BI report here at Business Intelligence Software.

The need for corresponding growth in mobile technology is a rapid growth in the sector that has been established. Even though technology is not the key to drive your business into success but this can be an extreme help for a business to achieve success. Whether the technology now is sufficient, there is still every need for us to advance and improve. The introduction of technology really have a big impact on every people in Africa. It helps on the development of the country as well as making the work of people be at ease and advance. Telecommunication in Africa then has been impacted by technology a great deal especially with the introduction of business intelligence software. It has been impacted in every part of the country. To know about telecommunication, it uses technology. Technology is the one that gave birth to telecommunication. Technology therefore has made this possible. This is by technological advancements that have made telecommunication possible.

Another advantage of technology is that it has marketed in many countries as a great advantage for telecommunication. It has been marketed throughout the world especially through online marketing. Online marketing has been essential in familiarizing this kind of service. This has led to many people understating the service better. Terms and conditions of the service and business intelligence software have been known better hence making telecommunication better. Technology though has been challenging to this kind of business. This is in terms of the dynamism nature of technology. Technology is dynamic and because of this, it threatens the stabilization of telecommunication. This is because there is a possibility of constant change in the telecommunication process, technological support and even the technological skills.

Technology is limited to the people that do not have access to technological tools. In addition, the people that do not have skills may not be able to know this. One therefore has to learn these skills for him or her to be able to operate technological tools. Without proper training, one will not be able to operate the technological tools hence being locked out of the world of technology. The most disadvantaged lot though may be the conservative generation.

Improved Utilization of Local Consultants For Regional Research

Globalization in general and regional integration in particular raises the need for regional economic policy analysis. Countries in the region have well-established policy research institutions that contribute substantially to national policy making.

However, when it comes to regional issues potential clients often continue to use foreign consultants instead of local consultants because of various reasons. The capacity of local consultants to conduct larger regional studies is often limited and regional networks to build on and to link up with were missing. Regional co-operation between research institutions was of a sporadic nature rather than formalized.

Realizing this, six institutions from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia founded the Southern and Eastern Africa Policy Research Network (SEAPREN) in November 1999, which was officially launched in 2000.

In addition, the network was joined in November 2001 by a Kenyan institution. The main objective was to enhance capacity for shaping policy via analysis in these regions through and among others by exchanging best practices, building on those best practices and optimizing the prioritized employment of local experts that often find their skills underutilized and sometimes finding themselves surviving without employment, while at the same time more adept for the local research in demand.

Eventually, this should strengthen the use of regional research and consultancy capacities for region-wide policy analysis.

The active promotion of the network on international, regional and national levels will increase the demand for local research resources. Instead of looking for and contacting various local institutions in the region potential clients will benefit from the existence of a network secretariat that provides information, arranges contacts and co-ordinates regional research activities.

Finally, the network will benefit regional policy analysis since researchers with in-depth knowledge of the local and regional situation are available and potentially more utilized.  This is of course made simpler by using the internet, which enables researchers to access information irrespective of their current location.   For example although many websites and sources of information can be accessed online they may be restricted to people in specific locations.  However by using proxies and VPNs researchers can bypass these blocks much like this web page explains – how to watch BBC iPlayer Ireland.  This technique allows anyone to switch their ‘virtual location’ by changing their IP address by routing through a proxy server.

Further Reading:

TCP/IP Proxies and Security – Buy VPN : Collin Addison